ByMark Newton, writer at
Movie Pilot Associate Editor. Email: [email protected]
Mark Newton

To most of us, our experience of Beauty and the Beast started and ended with the 1991 Disney classic. However, you might not know that this was actually based on an original 1946 French film, La Belle et la Bete, directed by famed French film-maker Jean Cocteau.

It seems Beauty and the Beast will get another imagining 'a la francais' as Silent Hill director is now attempting to once again bring Belle and her Beast to the big screen.

The film, which is live action, will be predominantly in French. This, of course, automatically makes it way more sophisticated than anything Disney could produce. At the moment, details and pictures are relatively scarce but here, for your reading pleasure, is the low-down on everything we know.

According to Gans, his version of Beauty and the Beast (which is still called La Belle et la Bete by some outlets) will be a darker version than the original, as well as visually and creatively revolutionary. He declared:

Although I will keep to a form of storytelling of this timeless fairy tale that is in keeping with the same pace and characters as the original, I will surprise the audience by creating a completely new visual universe never experienced before and produce images of an unparalleled quality. Every single one of my movies has presented me with a challenge, but this one is, by far, the most exciting and rewarding.

Hmm, these are pretty big words from Gans, but I know what you're thinking. What's the guy who directed a horror video game adaptation doing making a French language fantasy film? Aren't these two completely different kettles of fish? Well, Gans does have some experience with beastly fairy tales.

He's also the guy behind Brotherhood of the Wolf (aka Le pacte des loups), another French film in which a mysterious beast lays waste to the French countryside. However, despite his history of horror, Gans is not making a straight up terrifying re-adaptation of the classic tale. Although it will be darker than Disney's version, it will still be aimed at adults and children. Furthermore, despite being based on the earliest versions of the Beauty and the Beast tale, Gans still claims it will still resonate with modern audience:

It talks, among other things, about the power of dreams and love versus materialism and corruption, which makes it more than ever relevant today.

So who will be the Beauty and the Beast? Well, French belle Lea Seydoux (Midnight in Paris) has nabbed the ego-boosting role, while (Black Swan) will become the Beast.

And of course, no French movie is complete without the famous French (or should I say Russian) actor Gerard Depardieu. The fan favorite, and Life of Pi star, is on board to play the father of the beauty and will no doubt run-up against the Beast.

Of course, this isn't the only big screen reboot, Beauty and the Beast will be getting. is also down to re-adapt the famous tale in 2014. Rumor has it he has chosen to become his Belle, but generally details on this other English-language version are still well hidden. If that's not enough, another flick based on the story, this time merely called The Beast is also in production.

But, it seems like Gans' version will beat all these others to a release date. It recently finished principal photography in Berlin, and is set to hit theaters in late 2013.

What do you think? Which version of Beauty and the Beast has got you most excited? Let me know all about it below.


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